It’s an exciting time to live in Fargo. It’s fun to see the rest of the nation finding out what we already know, our quality of life is high and it’s a nice place to live.
While its interesting to see our city rank well in so many economic and livability lists we know we can do better.
At this time when our community is making needed investments in key large scale projects already underway, there are wonderful possibilities. We heard from over 8,000 people in creating our Fargo GO 2030 plan, that it’s important to make the most of these opportunities to add value and create beautiful spaces for people to use and enjoy for generations within these projects:
- Downtown flood protection
- Moving 2nd Street west to more stable ground that provides an expanded greenway and river walk
- New city hall
- Incorporating more public art and functional art
- Adding strategically placed mixed use parking facilities that keeps high value space on sidewalks for retail, commercial.
Our 37 hour whirlwind Tour de Art and Parking is already paying off. On Tuesdays Fargo commission agenda two items are:
1. Feasibility of converting Civic or another existing building to a 2,000 – 2,400 seat performing arts facility.
2. Thorough comparative analysis of use, size, siting for most overall community benefit of a possible conference/convention facility
It was very helpful to see some examples of these types of projects already in place in peer cities.
Thanks to wonderful leadership of Charley Johnson and the Fargo Visitors Center working with the city of Fargo, a group of 40 Fargo leaders took a two day bus trip to visit Sioux Falls South Dakota and Lincoln Nebraska. The tour group included artists, architects, developers, Fargo Visitor Center staff, Downtown Community Partnership, Fargodome staff and board members, NDSU, representatives from the FM Chamber and FMEDC, city planners and administration, media, and Fargo elected officials.
During a portion of our travel time, some tour members shared what they or their organization are working on for goals, trends, challenges and opportunities.
The tour group met the people that helped bring these projects to fruition at the sites. Projects we visited and learned about in Sioux Falls were:
Falls Park and connection to downtown,
Washington Pavilion a historic high school transformed into performing arts and science museum.
Downtown riverfront a newly constructed River Greenway along the Big Sioux River
While in Lincoln:
New developments in the Haymarket a tired warehouse district converted to a vibrant entertainment and technology hub,
New Pinnacle Bank Arena and events center in Hay Market district is in the background and has been a catalyst for more fun and development.
New mixed use parking facilities that have retail, commercial and office on sidewalks and residences or hotels wrapped around, or on, parking structures that add value and spin off benefit for increased economic activity
Panel sessions where people that helped with these developments shared various ways they’ve collaborated to plan and finance these successful community projects.
Here are a few links of news stories from our whirlwind Tour de Art and Parking:
We’re doing well in Fargo but there’s lots of room for improvement. Working together, and continuing to engage people to implement the priorities of Fargo GO2030, the best is yet to come.